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About AriaReady

Founded by the acclaimed teacher, mentor, author, adjudicator, and dramatic soprano Carol Kirkpatrick, AriaReady has been a beacon of guidance and support for aspiring opera singers for decades. Thus far existing only in its initial, analogue form as her widely-praised book and in-person masterclass series developed and taught with her husband David, AriaReady is now launching into its new life as an online community and resource designed to propel burgeoning singers onward and upward in their careers, lives, and inner selves by teaching the secrets of business, relations, and personal understanding she was fortunate to master and wished she had learned as a young singer herself.

The world of opera and classical singing gave Carol over 60 years of living the dream—world travel, meeting and working with some of the most famous singers, conductors, and stage directors of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As Carol said, “It’s been a successful and very satisfying journey for me.”

Success means something different to everyone... so let us ask you: What does success mean to you? It is different for everyone.

Most people are afraid of both success and failure. What are you afraid of and why? Once you know the reality of what a singing career demands, are you still interested in pursuing this dream? Why? And last but not least, how is your current career plan working out for you? Need some help? If so, you’ve come to the right spot.

Carol built AriaReady as an ongoing set of tools & skills to be used by singers as they grew into their careers and life.

The core of AriaReady is built upon Carol’s four key cornerstones—the very same necessary foundation upon which you will build and support your career:

  • First and foremost, having a solid and consistently dependable vocal technique.
  • Knowing who you are from the inside out.
  • Having a destination and a solid plan to get there.
  • Maintaining personal accountability in all areas of your life.

If you already have these things in place, you probably don’t need the career and life-building tools & skills offered by Aria Ready. 

However, if any one of these four cornerstones is not stable, then remember—no matter what you build upon them, it is destined to collapse. So, be brave. Take a small risk right now while you are feeling the passion of possibility stir within yourself.

Let AriaReady, and Carol’s decades of success in the business you are working toward, leave their mark on you and help you review where you are in your career to confirm what you already have in place and what honestly works well for you. Together, we can define any areas that need some adjusting and help you set up a plan to make your career foundation whole and solid. 

Knowing there is no progress without change. The question is… “Are ya' ready?”

Carol passed away at the end of 2021, just a week shy of her 80th birthday. She lived a full, happy, and productive life, and achieved nearly everything on her “Bucket List.”

The one thing she did not live to see was her ultimate goal for AriaReady: To give back to the art form and business that was her dream job. Not just with strategies and tactics or tools and skills, but with grant money to help young singers get up those early rungs of their career ladder. To deliver the one thing she’d wished she’d had when beginning her career as a professional opera singer.

So, it is our goal to fulfill a promise that Carol's husband David made to her just hours before she passed: To make it possible for AriaReady to support emerging singers, pass on her secrets to mastering their lives as working artists, and fund grants to aspiring singers just as she had wished.

About Carol

Throughout America and Europe, dramatic soprano Carol Kirkpatrick thrilled audiences and critics alike.

“One seemed to see and hear a singer instantly vested in a character and a dramatic moment.”

Indianapolis Star

“Ms. Kirkpatrick gave every phrase such a high point of believability that one forgets they are in the theatre.”

RAI Radio

“Blessed with a combination of vocal power, unfaltering tone, true artistry, and fiercely believable dramatic instincts, she made her tortured character riveting scene after scene.”

Arizona Daily Star

“A major voice, one worth the whole evening.”

The New York Times

“An unusual and thrilling voice full of passion that has a silvery quality and shimmers especially on top.”

The Phoenix Gazette

“With this beautiful voice comes an enormous vocal strength with marrow-shaking outbursts so completely from the whole inner being that the last row of listeners in the theatre was held captive.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“There followed a spontaneous standing ovation with cries of ‘Brava,’ foot stamping, and a rain of flowers onstage when Ms. Kirkpatrick came out for her solo bow.”

San Francisco Chronicle

After graduating from the University of Arizona in Tucson and winning first prize in the San Francisco Opera Auditions, Carol was given a contract with the San Francisco Opera Company, where she performed main stage roles and was also asked to become a member of the touring company, Western Opera Theatre, where she met her life long mentor, Herbert Grossman.

Much of Carol’s opera education came directly from Mr. Grossman. Much of his came from relationships, both professional and family, with the likes of Toscanini, Menotti, Bernstein, Horowitz, and Heifots. Becoming a Corbett Fellow brought her to Europe, where she performed leading roles in some of the most prestigious opera houses in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and England.

In addition to operatic performing, Carol was a soloist with many major orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. She was an Artist in Residence at the Aspen Musical Festival, where she taught voice and performed with the Festival Orchestra. Columbia Artists Community Concert Series sought her out to present recitals throughout North America. Her brilliant singing, interesting programming, and rapport with the public brought her great critical acclaim. She worked with a host of prestigious conductors, including James Levine, Herbert Grossman, Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, Georges Pretre, Horst Stein, and Christopher Keene.

Carol Kirkpatrcik talks with UND students about breaking into the music business and starting a career. Krikpatrick is in Grand Forks to be a judge fo rthe annual Met Opera tryouts. Grand Forks Herald photo by Lori Weber Menke.

During her career and after her retirement, Carol was called upon to adjudicate various auditions, including those for the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera. She continued to be in demand for presenting her Master Classes, which help singers successfully portray the character through the text and music, giving them the tools to continue this work beyond their time together and the confidence to audition at their peak, using tools such as her “Magic Carpet.”

As a Certified Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming Trainer and author of ARIAREADY: The Business of Singing, Carol also spent her time sharing her performance, business, and interpersonal skills through her seminars and AriaReady Bootcamps, all of which benefit from her extensive experience and training. Carol most recently lived in Denver, Colorado, where, as a Master Voice Teacher, she had an established and active voice studio.

Carol Kirkpatrick teaches from her home studio in Denver, Colorado.

The Match: Carol On Singing

Carol's was a holistic approach to the process of singing that allowed all the parts to work in tandem without any interference, consistent with and often called “bel canto” singing. She believed there are only two things a singer can be in control of: first and foremost, air pressure, and second, the space in which the physics of sound occur.

This means creating the space in which the physics of sound can properly occur, which is what we call “an open throat,” taking an inhale on the vowel “awe” as you feel the ribs in the upper back expand and then, without changing anything and while maintaining consistent air pressure, releasing the “awe” vowel as noise. Like striking a match, this ignites sound and engages air pressure all at the same time.

Carol herself loved this image of an igniting match to represent her perspective on this concept, because the ignition of the sound is the pivotal moment when everything must already be set up properly.

Source unknown.

Carol used to say, "I believe that the thinking brain is a lovely tool, but it doesn’t know how to sing." Singing comes from the intrinsic side of the brain that runs all our automatic pilot programs, like your eyes blinking, your spleen doing whatever a spleen does, and also the elegant gymnastics of your voice box when given the proper setting.

There is only one proper way to create a solid foundation for singing, so find the teacher with whom you have great rapport, respect, and understanding to take you through this learning process, so you only have to master it once to have a solid vocal technique for the rest of your life. The alternative is to suffer a lifetime of doubt and useless vocal “fixes”.

Singing is just a process—one you must come to trust.

About David

David brings a fresh perspective to the business side of a singing career with his over four decades of experience and extensive training in communication and behavioral patterns. He believes that profitable relationships lie at the heart of building businesses as living systems and that human creativity, wisdom, curiosity, courage, and humor are essential in creating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships.

David has held leadership positions as a business owner and as a senior account executive for RR Donnelley & Sons, the world's largest printing company. His experience has enabled him to develop a successful business model based on service rather than competition. He has a proven track record of maximizing opportunities by understanding the needs and expectations of both senior and functional management levels within a business relationship.

Over the years, David has been invited to present his successful series of lectures and workshops on business communications and behavioral skills to businesses, colleges, and design schools nationwide. He has worked alongside Carol for nearly 40 years as Carol's husband and business partner. The Ariaready workshops and boot camps were created through the combined knowledge and experience of both Carol and David. They worked hand-in-hand to build what has proven to be a functional road map that can be personalized and built upon to create a step-by-step career guide.

He has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the field, and his ability to communicate complex ideas in a simple and accessible manner makes him an excellent communicator.

His unique approach to business, built on the principles of service and profitable relationships, has proven to be a successful model that has benefited many. David's decades of experience and dedication to his work make him a trusted voice in the field.

As the new spokesperson for AriaReady, David will share insightful stories and experiences from many who have successfully utilized the AR tools and skills. This includes both singers and business professionals who have managed to forge successful careers and relationships thanks in part to the guidance and resources provided by the AriaReady process.